This last week I had the opportunity to make a quick trip to my parent’s place – the same farm that I grew up on.
One morning my dad asked me if I would like to live a little dangerously for a few minutes…
But didn’t give me any more details:D
Curious as to what this little exploit might include I quickly agreed!
Then he handed me to protective clothing I would need for this adventure…
Thick leather gloves and a large deflated marshmallow…
At least that is what it reminded me of…thankfully, it was missing the ooey-gooeyness of marshmallows:D
As we headed out the door, he explained that we would be moving a hive of bees. We were moving the box that was their hive out of the cow pasture, so that the cattle could be let back in to eat the grass.
So we proceeded to load the box into a wagon and move it to the outside of the fence. And I admit, it wasn’t too bad. I don’t think I saw one bee.
But then he opened the bottom of the hive…
And let me tell you…moving a bee hive on a wagon through a cow pasture is not…hmmm, how shall I say this???
It is not like driving down a paved highway:D
When the bottom of the hive was opened, I think those jostled bees wanted to let us know they had felt every bump along the way…and, well, let’s just say I now have a new appreciation for the word “swarm”…lol!
As my dad and I were quickly retreating from the swarm of bees, he laughed and told me that I didn’t have to run, because I was protected. With my large deflated marshmallow coat and leather gloves, I wouldn’t get stung.
I stood there for a moment, digesting that thought…can you imagine standing in a swarm of bees, and NOT running??? I admit the idea was a little bit foreign to me…
But as I saw the open gate that still needed to be shut, I decided to give the protective covering a try. I walked over – into the swarm – and closed the gate.
And you know what?
I didn’t get stung:D
By this time the bees had quieted down quite a bit…at least they weren’t evacuating the hive with such a ferocious vengeance. My dad joined me, and then told me that another key to being around bees is to be calm and relaxed.
As we returned to the house and I disengaged myself from the non-sticky marshmallow, the wheels inside my mind began to turn…
There have been times in my life when I have faced “scary” or “unknown” situations that seems overwhelming and frightening. My first reaction is to…
Panic…or freak out…or be overwhelmed…or be afraid…or even run away!
But, you know, I have learned that my initial reaction does not have to dictate my initial response to a situation…
Because I am protected…
By God Himself.
Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged…”
“The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”.
God is with me wherever I go.
God is with you wherever you go.
What an amazing truth and promise:D
He is the protection that I have to face the circumstances and challenges of life. So although my initial reaction may be to “freak out”…quick on the heels of that thought I need to remember the assurance of the promise that I have of His presence.
Just as with my bee protective gear I could stand bravely and courageously in the face of the swarming bees, when I remember that God is with me I can stand bravely and courageously in the face of whatever difficult circumstance or challenge I may be facing.
I don’t have to respond to the situation with fear or discouragement. I can stand bravely and move forward (if needed) with confidence one step at a time…
Because the Lord my God will be with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9), directing my steps as I trust and acknowledge Him (Proverbs 3:5, 6), providing for every need that I have (Philippians 4:19), and enabling me to do to work He has given me to do (Philippians 4:13).
You know, I find it oddly reassuring that in Joshua 1:1 – 9, God had to remind Joshua not one…not two…but three times to be strong and courageous because God would be with him. In the book of Deuteronomy both God and Moses repeat the same words.
That’s five times Joshua was told to be strong and courageous! Sometimes I need just as many (if not more!) reminders that God is with me:D
The promise of God’s presence is the protection I need against the fear and discouragement that often lurks on the fringes of my mind. The promise of God’s presence is also the impetus I need to be bold and courageous…and do the work God has given me to do…even if it is overwhelming or frightening.
I can face challenges, struggles and trials with boldness and courage – and without fear and discouragement – because God Himself is with me.
How about you? Have you faced or are you facing a difficult situation or an overwhelming challenge?
If so, remember…
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9